EPT Monte Carlo: Wouter Beumers tops tough Day 1 field in €25K High Roller

Day 1 of the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo©Casino EPT €25K High Roller unsurprisingly brought out many of poker's top tournament talent. After 10 one-hour levels, one name crashed through the high roller gauntlet to claim the overnight chip lead -- Wouter Beumers of the Netherlands who ended with 416,500.

Wouter Beumers

Earlier in the day Bryn Kenney and Rainer Kempe were among the many familiar faces in this one who had built up healthy stacks to move up the counts.

But it was Beumers whose climb never seemed to slow down. He'd created some serious distance from the field by the early evening, and by the finish made it relatively simple to locate the day's chip leader and headline star.

Hailing from the Netherlands, Beumers only has three live cashes including one in last summer's WSOP Main Event. We'll see tomorrow how well he can hold off challengers to his chip lead once the field winnows further.

Mikalai Vaskaboinikau of Belarus was the only player to present a significant challenge to Beumers today, ultimately ending the night with 315,500. With over $1.15 million in career earnings, Vaskaboinikau is a bit more familiar to us, thanks especially to his runner-up finish in the $25K PokerStars Caribbean Adventure High Roller back in January of this year.

Mikalai Vaskaboinikau

High roller champion many times over Kenney ended up on an upward tick to end the night as well, pushing up to end the night with 273,500.

Bryn Kenney

And Rainer Kempe of Germany, another player with multiple high roller titles to his credit, too, actually took a pot off Beumers in the last hand of the night to end with a more-than-healthy stack of 268,000.

Rainer Kempe

From the 112 total entries (including 22 re-entries), just 43 players survived to tomorrow's Day 2. Click here for a full list of chip counts for all 43 who advanced.

Then plan ahead to return at 12:30pm local time Friday for the start of Day 2. Late registration is open until those first hands come tomorrow, so we'll see how many more come out to play and build upon the already €2.6M-plus prize pool.

Until then, bonsoir! --MH

€25K HIGH ROLLER DAY 1 LIVE UPDATE ARCHIVE

• PLAYERS: 44 TBC (OF 112, INCL. 22 RE-ENTRIES)
• REG. OPEN UNTIL START OF DAY 2 - 12:30PM THURSDAY
MAIN EVENT COVERAGE | ALL EPT INFO | TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
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12:30am: Day 1 concludes

That's it for Day 1. Wouter Beumers is surely our chip leader, with Mikalai Vaskaboinikau the only one even within shouting distance. Back shortly with a recap of an exciting day of poker. --MH

12:25am: Derwiche downed at the finish
Level 10 - Blinds 800/1,600 (BB ante 1,600)

At the very end of the night, Imad Derwiche shoved for 30,000 with Q♦9♦ and ran into chip leader Wouter Beumers's J♦J♥. A runout of 4♣2♣9♥4♥6♠ meant Derwiche had lost his second and last stack in this one, while Wouter adds still more to his leading stack. --MH

12:20am: Three more hands
Level 10 - Blinds 800/1,600 (BB ante 1,600)

Each of the six tables will play three more hands, then the survivors will start bagging up. --MH

12:15am: Petrangelo goes for value
Level 10 - Blinds 800/1,600 (BB ante 1,600)

Nick Petrangelo bet 45,700 on the river. The pot was a bit scattered, but it was easy enough for your humble scribbler to see that bet was more than what was in the middle.

It was a big bet. And with a board showing A♠Q♥T♠3♠K♦, it suggested either a big hand, or a big bunch of nothing.

Ramin Hajiyev thought about the bet long enough to spend a time bank card, then he called it. Petrangelo turned over Q♠8♠ for a flush, and Hajiyev mucked.

After getting value and boosting that pot, Petrangelo is up around 210,000 now while Hajiyev slips to 136,000. --MH

Nick Petrangelo boosts stack in last level

12:05am: Pardo ruins the party
Level 10 - Blinds 800/1,600 (BB ante 1,600)

With only 30 minutes left to play today, there's a genial atmosphere going over on Table 4. More than half its competitors -- Imad Derwiche, Ryan Riess, Rainer Kempe, Lijo Lander, and Saar Wilf -- just had drinks delivered to the table.

They toasted after the Q♦9♦8♠ flop of a hand that Derwiche had opened under the gun for 4,000. Lander (cutoff), Wilf (button), and Juan Pardo (big blind) had called the raise and everyone checked to Wilf, who bet 9,000 on the button. Just as they were clinking their glasses and bottles, Pardo check-raised to 24,000. The rest folded but Wilf stuck around.

Then Pardo open-shoved on the 7♣ turn. Wilf asked for a count -- 28,000 -- and then regretfully mucked. "I can't believe I folded that," he said. "Come on, show A♦T♦!" Pardo only showed one card, the J♦, as he dragged the pot.

Rainer Kempe leaned over to Pardo and said, "Here we are trying to have a nice relaxed table at the end of the night..." That got a smile from Pardo as he stacked up his 69,000 chips. --JK

12am: Vaskaboinikau bounding up the counts
Level 10 - Blinds 800/1,600 (BB ante 1,600)

Lucas Reeves raised from late position, Mikalai Vaskaboinikau called from the button, and Albert Daher called as well from the big blind.

The flop came Q♣3♣Q♥. Daher checked, Reeves bet 7,500, Vaskaboinikau called, and Daher folded. The A♠ turn brought another bet of 13,000 from Reeves, and Vaskaboinikau called again.

The river Q♦ put a third queen on the board, and when Reeves checked, Vaskaboinikau slapped the table to check behind. Reeves turned over 2♥2♦, then Vaskaboinikau exhaled as he showed his 3♠3♦ for a slightly better full house.

Vaskaboinikau didn't like that last queen. "Why you put this card?" he asked the dealer with a grin. "If you bet, I fold," he added to Reeves who now has 185,000.

But Vaskaboinikau still won the pot, and now he has something in the neighborhood of 350,000 and is starting to present a challenge to leader Wouter Beumers. --MH

Mikalai Vaskaboinikau, from earlier in the day

11:45pm: Lin vs. Lin
Level 10 - Blinds 800/1,600 (BB ante 1,600)

Xia Lin just doubled through Chen An Lin. Xia had K♥9♣ versus Chen An's Q♠7♣, and from the looks of the 6♦7♠8♥A♦T♣ board the money might have gone in on the flop, but I arrived too late to be certain.

In any case, Xia Lin survives with about 60,000, while Chen An Lin now has 68,000. --MH

11:35pm: Last level begins
Level 10 - Blinds 800/1,600 (BB ante 1,600)

Just one more hour of poker left in Day 1. Currently 51 players are in action from the field of 111 total entries (so far). --MH

Day 1 continues

11:30pm: Tsang doubles through Kolonias
Level 9 - Blinds 600/1,200 (BB ante 1,200)

Yan Shing Tsang raised from early position, getting one caller on the button. Then Alexandros Kolonias made it 14,000 to go from the small blind and the action returned to Tsang.

Tsang hesitated for a moment, then declared he was reraising all in for his last 59,300. The man in the middle folded quickly, but Kolonias thought a while before finally coming up with a call.

Tsang: J♦J♣
Kolonias: A♦Q♣

It was a race, and it went Tsang's way as the board went 7♠8♣9♠3♦K♠. Tsang bounces up around 130,000 after that one, while Kolonias slips to 90,000. --MH

11:25pm: Even more for Beumers
Level 9 - Blinds 600/1,200 (BB ante 1,200)

Wouter Beumers can't seem to do any wrong today, and it's doing wonders for his stack.

We just watched a hand between Beumers and Lijo Lander. With a big pile of chips in the middle and the action on the K♦9♥3♠ flop -- a 15,400 lead from Lander in the small blind and a call from Beumers on the button -- it seems likely that the pre-flop action saw a raise from Beumers and a re-raise from Lander.

Both players checked the 9♦ turn, leading Lander to fire another 50,000 on the A♣ river. Beumers thought briefly and then made the call. Lander showed A♠J♠ for top pair but that was no match for Beumers's trip nines with T♠9♠.

Lander drops to 55,000 (about half the average) with that loss. Beumers, meanwhile, is at 460,000 and rising. --JK

11:20pm: Vogelsang calls bluff from Adams
Level 9 - Blinds 600/1,200 (BB ante 1,200)

Timothy Adams tried.

The board showed 4♦3♣7♥A♠3♠ and there was about 16,000 in the middle, and for him to get that 16,000 with Q♥J♣, Adams probably needed to bet. So he did -- 12,400.

Alas for Adams, his opponent Christoph Vogelsang had a hand with which he could call -- A♥T♠ for aces. So he did, and won the pot. Vogelsang has 53,000 now, Adams 31,000. --MH

Adams made the attempt

11:10pm: Beumers continues to accumulate
Level 9 - Blinds 600/1,200 (BB ante 1,200)

Chip leader Wouter Beumers of the Netherlands is now seated in between the two Frenchmen, the jovial Imad Derwiche and friendly Jean-Noel Thorel.

Beumers just took a small pot off the two of them in a button-versus-blinds three-way hand, with some amiable table talk following the hand. Now Beumers is sitting with around 385,000 as he gets to know his two neighbors a little better. --MH

11pm: Mikita's no-good, very bad day
Level 9 - Blinds 600/1,200 (BB ante 1,200)

Mikita Badziakouski had a bad go of it on his first bullet (see 6:45pm below). Things haven't improved on his second, either.

We just showed up at his table as he checked and then called a bet of 7,600 from Main Event 32nd-place finisher Eric Sfez on a K♠J♣5♦ flop. Badziakouski checked again on the 4♥ turn and Sfez kept up the pressure with a 26,000-chip bet, more than enough to set Badziakouski all-in if he were to call. The Belarussian player shook his head and, after his shot clock ran down most of the way, let his hand go.

Badziakouski is left with 21,000. Sfez is on 70,000. --JK

10:55pm: Short stacks in peril
Level 9 - Blinds 600/1,200 (BB ante 1,200)

With the board 5♦T♠7♥6♥2♦, David Yan checked and watched Julian Thomas bet 15,000. Yan thought a short while then called, and when Thomas showed 7♠5♠ for two pair Yan mucked.

Thomas bumps up to 125,000. Meanwhile the river call cost Yan a big part of his remaining stack, as he's down to 18,000.

Erik Seidel similarly was putting a lot of his short stack at risk on the river in a hand, betting 16,000 and leaving himself but 9,000 behind. But that bet went uncalled, and he's sitting with about 45,000 right now. --MH

Seidel grinding

10:50pm: Hasson hanging on at Table 3
Level 8 - Blinds 600/1,200 (BB ante 1,200)

Gary Hasson is playing in this tournament today, fresh off a 50th-place cash in the Main Event. Things aren't going too well for him at the moment but he's trying to make something happen.

He opened for 2,600 in the hijack a few minutes ago only to see a bunch of action behind him. Mikalai Vaskaboinikau made it 6,000 to go in the small blind and then Joao Vieira put in a fourth bet for 17,000. Hasson shook his head and quickly folded; Vaskaboinikau moved all-in just as quickly, and Vieira folded with the same speed. Vieira showed his A♦J♠ and Vaskaboinikau returned the favor by turning over two black kings.

Hasson tried again on the next hand with another open for 2,600, this time under the gun. Jack Sinclair called in the big blind and then both players checked the A♦Q♣Q♠ flop and 9♦ turn. Sinclair checked again on the 4♣ river and then, after realizing he was probably no good, went ahead and called Hasson's 4,900-chip river bet anyway. Hasson indeed had the winner with A♥T♣ for aces and queens.

Hasson's hanging around with 25,000. Vieira has 84,000, and Vaskaboinikau is on 180,000. --JK

10:35pm: Two more levels to go
Level 9 - Blinds 600/1,200 (BB ante 1,200)

Players are back and battling once more, with two more one-hour levels left before the end-of-night bagging commences.

A tour of the tables during the break reveals Wouter Beumers is still setting the pace, while Rainer Kempe and Bryn Kenney have been accumulating to move up the counts. Below are the current big stacks:

Wouter Beumers - 295,000
Rainer Kempe - 220,000
Bryn Kenney - 220,000
Christopher Frank - 210,000
Nick Petrangelo - 200,000
Saar Wilf - 180,000
Mikalai Vaskaboinikau - 180,000
Lucas Reeves - 175,000
Alexandros Kolonias - 165,000
Ramin Hajiyev - 155,000
Thomas Muehloecker - 150,000
Conor Beresford - 145,000
Alexander Uskov - 130,000

Wouter Beumers


Rainer Kempe


Bryn Kenney

--MH


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10:20pm: Last break

With 58 players in action from a 109-entry field they've reached the final 15-minute break of the night. --MH

10:18pm: Up and down for Kanit
Level 8 - Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

Mustapha Kanit opened for 2,500 in the cutoff and Nick Petrangelo made it 7,500 to go on the button. Kanit was the only caller to the 8♠3♣J♥ flop, where he checked and called Petrangelo's 6,000-chip bet. The 3♦ turn saw similar action, with Kanit check-calling 25,000 this time. That brought the J♦ river, where Kanit checked once again. Petrangelo thought for about 10 seconds before moving a stack of blue 5,000-denomination chips in the middle.

The bet was more than enough to cover Kanit's remaining stack, leaving him with a tough decision. Kanit used his four remaining time bank cards to buy himself a full two-and-a-half minutes, at the end of which he finally surrendered the pot to Petrangelo.

The next hand was the last of the level and saw Ryan Riess open for 2,400. Kanit re-raised to 7,000 and Riess called. He checked the Q♣9♥7♥ flop and, after some thought, folded to Kanit's 8,500-chip bet.

Kanit is on 75,000 going into the break. Riess has 123,000 and Petrangelo 200,000. --JK

10:15pm: Run-good vs. run-bad get it in, chop it up
Level 8 - Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

Sam Greenwood was just all in and at risk versus Julian Thomas. Arriving as the board was being completed, it appeared Greenwood with 6♠5♠ had gotten his chips in on a 3♣4♠6♦ flop versus Thomas who held 9♣9♥.

Greenwood moved ahead when the 5♦ turn hit to give him two pair. But the 7♦ on the river put a straight on the board, and the two of them chopped it up.

"How do I not lose that?" laughed Thomas, who is on his second entry and might be feeling a little snakebit after getting knocked out earlier in a hand in which his pocket aces were cracked. Meanwhile, Greenwood viewed the result differently.

"I'm running so good," said Greenwood -- who did take down the €100K Super High Roller last week -- "I hit both my draws... my second pair and the straight."

Greenwood has 70,000 and Thomas 110,000 as the night's last break appraoches. --MH

Greenwood going for more high roller hardware

10:10pm: Adams chases Vogelsang
Level 8 - Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

Watch Christoph Vogelsang play poker for a bit and you'll quickly realize he's one of the most deliberate players around. He consistently takes the bulk of his 30-second shot clock to make his decisions, and more often than not that diligence results in those decisions being correct. But there are, of course, exceptions to every rule.

Vogelsang opened the action (after his customary delay) for 2,300 in the cutoff, clearing the field except for Timothy Adams, who called in the small blind to see the 8♥9♥A♦ flop. Adams check-called 2,500 there and then both players took their full shot clocks to check the 2♥ turn. Adams quickly led for 16,500 on the 3♦ river and Vogelsang insta-mucked.

Vogelsang is down to 38,000 now. Adams, meanwhile, gets back to the 50,000 he brought to the table with his second bullet. --JK

9:55pm: Riess doubles through Kanit
Level 8 - Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

Mustapha Kanit is wearing a gray hoodie, and just now decided it was time to pull the hood over his head. Announcing that he was doing so got a laugh from Bryn Kenney and Dario Sammartino across the table, and the newly determined Kanit grinned widely as the next hand was dealt.

The hand ended up developing into something significant, especially for Ryan Riess who took on Kanit. By the river the board showed 8♣2♥T♥4♠3♦ and Riess was making a decent-sized bet of 18,000. Kanit then pushed all in, and Riess had to think about it a while before calling with his last 24,100.

Kanit had Q♥Q♠, but Riess showed A♥A♦ and earned the pot to move up around 100,000.

Kanit, meanwhile, slips to 130,000. He's still donning the hood, though, determined to make it work. --MH

9:45pm: Gomez pays Bonomo's overbet
Level 8 - Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

Justin Bonomo and Javier Gomez were already on the turn of a 2♣J♦7♠7♥ board with 12,000 in the pot when we arrived at the table. Gomez checked, Bonomo bet 5,000, and Gomez called.

That brought the Q♣ on the river, where Gomez checked once more. Bonomo's shot clock nearly ran out before he stuck 28,00 chips in front of him -- and overbet of the pot. It must have smelled like a big bluff to Gomez, who used a time bank card before tossing in one chip to signify his call. He mucked and started counting out the full chips for the call when Bonomo turned over 8♥7♣ for trip sevens.

Bonomo's up to 138,000 now, Gomez down to 35,000. --JK

9:40pm: Muehloecker knocks out Lin
Level 8 - Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

I just came up Thomas Meuhloecker's table where he had two of the red rectangular "time bank" cards sitting out in front of him, matching his two hole cards resting face down beside them.

The reason for the red cards could be discerned pretty easily. The board showed J♣Q♥3♠5♥K♦, and his lone opponent, Wei Lin, had bet his last 25,000. Finally Meuhloecker decided to call and turn over his two cards -- Q♣T♠ for a pair of queens. That was better than Lin's hand -- 3♥2♥ for treys and a flush draw that never got there, and Muehloecker took the pot.

Lin wished the table well as he left, and now Muehloecker stacks 165,000. --MH

9:30pm: Jacks fail Lehmanski
Level 8 - Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

Maxi Lehmanski just busted after a preflop confrontation with Imad Derwiche.

Lehmanski put his short stack at risk with J♥J♦ and got one caller in Derwiche playing A♥K♦. The board ultimately paired each of Derwiche's hole cards, coming A♣6♥5♣9♥K♣ to send off Lehmanski. Derwiche chips up around 85,000. --MH

9:25pm: Hartmann vs. Vogelsang; Haxton's first bullet misses
Level 8 - Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

Christoph Vogelsang opened for 1,900 under the gun and got a call from Roman Emelyanov in the hijack before Pascal Hartmann re-raised to 8,200 on the button. Vogelsang called and Emelyanov folded. Vogelsang check-called 5,700 on the 9♦A♣A♦ flop, then checked again when the 6♠ came on the turn. Hartmann maintained his line with a bet of 13,500, which convinced Vogelsang to fold.

Vogelsang is now on 46,000; Hartmann, 76,000. Meanwhile, Benjamin Pollak has brought Isaac Haxton's first bullet to an end. We expect Haxton to return at some point before registration closes at the start of Day 2. --JK

9:20pm: Battles, home and abroad
Level 8 - Blinds 500/1,000 (BB ante 1,000)

Imad Derwiche has re-entered the event, once again increasing the overall average level of friendliness among the field. Just now the Frenchman got involved in a hand with his fellow countryman Jean-Noel Thorel and the German Rainer Kempe, the nationalities of each Derwiche made note of as the flop was being dealt.

"Two Frenchmen against one German!" he said with a grin. In response Kempe leaned toward German Jean-Eric Schwippert sitting on his left, and joked they would need to stick together.

Derwiche ended up winning a small one after getting Thorel to fold to a river bet, and he couldn't help share his excitement.

"First hand I win against Mr. Thorel," he cried. "First hand in my life!"

Stop the presses! Derwiche wins hand versus Mr. Thorel!

The table acknowledged the accomplishment with nods and grins. Kempe is at 135,000 now, Thorel 115,000, and Derwiche 60,000. -MH

9:10pm: Beumers continues to accumulate
Level 7 - Blinds 400/800 (BB ante 800)

Wouter Beumers keeps on adding to his stack -- he's nearing the 300,000-chip mark now, and continues to appear to be the leader in the room. --MH

9:05pm: Kolonias stacking up
Level 7 - Blinds 400/800 (BB ante 800)

We showed up to the table with Alexandros Kolonias (in the hijack) and Stephen Chidwick (in the cutoff) heads-up for what was already a 35,000-chip pot with a board reading 5♠7♣T♠8♥. Both players checked and the river was the J♣. Kolonias stabbed for 13,000 and Chidwick, after leveling his formidable stare at an unblinking Kolonias, opted for the fold.

Chidwick is on 83,000 now, Kolonias 140,000. And their new tablemate Timothy Adams, returning for a second bullet, is on an even 50,000. --JK

9pm: Five no longer alive
Level 7 - Blinds 400/800 (BB ante 800)

A clash of a couple of big stacks to report, albeit one that began a little more excitingly than it ended.

Mustapha Kanit raised to 1,800 from middle position, then Chen An Lin made it 5,400 to go from the button. Albert Daher then decided to cold four-bet to 13,400 from the small blind, and when action returned to Kanit he reraised again to 24,500, forcing out Lin. Daher thought a bit, getting a look at Kanit's stack as he did, then called.

The flop came 8♠9♠6♦, and Kanit led for 21,000. Daher called. Both then checked the T♠ turn, and when Kanit fired 42,000 after the 5♦ river, Daher had to let it go.

Kanit showed one card afterwards -- I think it was an eight, though don't quote me. He asked Daher if he had queens and Daher gave the thumbs down as though to indicate a lesser pair. In any case, Kanit is now up around 215,000 while Daher slips to 120,000. --MH

8:50pm: Five no longer alive
Level 7 - Blinds 400/800 (BB ante 800)

We're not sure exactly how they went, since we've been at different tables watching the action, but Timothy Adams, Lily Kiletto, Vladimir Troyanovskiy, and Tom-Aksell Bedell have all exited the field since we returned from dinner. And, after just doubling his short stack through Julian Stuer, Said Butba joined them in having to decide whether to fire a second bullet. --JK

Troyanovskiy taken out

8:40pm: Butba gets there versus Stuer
Level 7 - Blinds 400/800 (BB ante 800)

Said Butba pushed all in for his last 8,400 and got a call from Julian Stuer in the big blind. Butba had A♥5♦ and needed help to survive against Stuer's A♠K♥.

The flop provided said help. Or Said help, if you like. It came 4♠5♥2♣, pairing Butba's five and sorry about the pun.

The turn was the 9♠ and the river the T♣, and Butba survives with 18,000. Stuer now has 65,000. --MH

8:30pm: Thomas takes it from Haxton
Level 7 - Blinds 400/800 (BB ante 800)

Julian Thomas and Isaac Haxton were both below average coming back from dinner. Both are still in that range but Thomas is a bit better off after a pot with Haxton.

The flop already showed 7♦Q♥J♣A♠ when Haxton, sitting in the big blind, checked to Thomas. Haxton called Thomas's 1,600-chip bet and the river was the 5♦. Haxton checked one more time and THomas bet an even 10,000. Haxton considered the call but let his hand go, boosting Thomas's stack to 55,000. Haxton, meanwhile, is working with 25,000. --JK

8:20pm: Let's play four
Level 7 - Blinds 400/800 (BB ante 800)

The cards are back in the air here at the Salle des Étoiles. We're playing four more levels before breaking for the night. --JK


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7:05pm: Dinner break

Having reached the end of Level 6, players are now off on a 75-minute dinner break. A quick tour of the room right before they left showed Wouter Beumers was still thriving despite having lost a few chips to end the level. Here are some big stacks at the moment:

Albert Daher - 165,000
Wouter Beumers - 160,000
Jean-Noel Thorel - 145,000
Mustapha Kanit - 140,000
Dominik Nitsche - 145,000
Rainer Kempe - 115,000
Nick Petrangelo - 135,000
Steve O'Dwyer - 125,000
Bryn Kenney - 125,000
Christopher Vogelsang - 115,000
Mikalai Vaskaboinikov - 110,000
Alexandros Kolonias - 105,000
Stephen Chidwick - 100,000

Play will resume around 8:20 p.m. --MH

7pm: GG for Guilbert
Level 6 - Blinds 300/600 (BB ante 600)

Albert Daher kicked this one off with open to 1,500, which Johan Guilbert three-bet to 4,400. Over to Mustapha Kanit, the Italian four-bet to 11,700, which shook off Daher but got an all-in to around 28,000 from Guilbert. Kanit snap-called.

Guilbert - Q♦Q♠
Kanit - A♣K♠

El Classico. The most classic of all the classic flips.

Kanit would win the flip this time after a 7♥5♥A♦5♠7♦ runout. "GG guys, good luck Mustapha," said Guilbert, in good spirits as he got up to leave. Kanit's up to 134,000 now. --JS

6:55pm: Hajiyev stacks Eibinger
Level 6 - Blinds 300/600 (BB ante 600)

With the board showing 8♦2♥3♥Q♦, Matthias Eibinger bet 5,000 and watched his opponent Ramin Hajiyev raise to 13,200. Eibinger paused a couple of beats and then called. I can't say exactly the size of the pot, but you can do the math yourself to see the pot was greater than the 24,000 or so Eibinger had behind after the call.

The river brought the 5♦, and after getting a look at Eibinger's remaining stack, Hajiyev pushed all in. Eibinger burned through a time bank card before finally committing with the call, and Hajiyev quickly turned over Q♣3♣ for two pair. That beat the Q-T offsuit Eibinger had, and he's out for good, that being his second and last entry.

Meanwhile Hajiyev is up to 115,000 now. --MH

6:50pm: Muehloecker builds through Yan
Level 6 - Blinds 300/600 (BB ante 600)

David Yan seems a little under the weather. He's got a cough, and is wearing a surgical mask to keep himself to himself, as it were.

David Yan: Behind the mask

And Thomas Muehloecker isn't doing anything to help him feel better.

Yan had opened to 1,400 under the gun which Conor Beresford called from the hijack. Over to Muehloeckler in the cutoff, he three-bet it up to 5,700, only for Yan to then four-bet to 15,300. Beresford let his hand go, but Muehloecker called.

The dealer spread a 3♠3♣J♥ flop and Yan continued for 8,000. Muehloecker didn't budge, bringing the A♣ on the turn, which both would check.

The Q♦ completed the board on the river and Yan checked again. Muehloecker waited for his full 30 second clock to tick down before tossing in 16,000 bet, and now it was Yan's turn to run down the clock. He'd use a time bank card, but ultimately gave it up.

Yan has 32,000 left after that one, while Muehloecker is up to 73,000. --JS

Muehloecker moving up

6:45pm: Badziakouski's first bullet misses its target
Level 6 - Blinds 300/600 (BB ante 600)

Mikita Badziakouski's entire first bullet was just encapsulated in its final hand.

Alexandros Kolonias had raised under the gun and both he and Xia Lin (in the big blind) called after Badziakouski moved his remaining 5,000 or so chips all-in from the small blind, giving Badziakouski a chance to triple up if the cards fell right.

Lin led for 4,200 on the 2♥8♠6♠ flop and Kolonias called, building a small side pot. They both checked the 9♠ turn, and Lin folded to Kolonias's 14,000-chip bet on the 5♦ river. Kolonias showed 7♦7♠ for the runner-runner, nine-high straight. Badziakouski shook his head and smiled wryly as he turned over 6♥6♦ -- he'd flopped a set only to be run down in the end.

Kolonias is now on 85,000. Badziakouski should be back after the dinner break for a second attempt that, with any luck for him, will go better than the first. --JK

6:40pm: One of those days for Badziakouski
Level 6 - Blinds 300/600 (BB ante 600)

It's been an up-and-down day for Mikita Badziakouski. He lost a big pot to Alexandros Kolonias earlier that dropped him to about 15,000 chips. He'd worked his way back to a healthy stack from that point but he's back down again after having a big pair cracked.

We showed up with the board reading 7♥J♣Q♣ and the action on Badziakouski. He used most of his shot clock and then announced himself all-in, and Xia Lin snap-called for his last 17,000. The cards went on their backs:

Lin: A♣8♣
Badziakouski: K♥K♠

The T♣ filled in Lin's club flush and the 4♠ changed nothing, giving Lin the double to 48,000. Badziakouski, meanwhile, has just three chips worth 5,600 left. --JK

A bit of run-Badziakouski

6:35pm: Vogelsang makes straight, busts Thomas
Level 6 - Blinds 300/600 (BB ante 600)

Julian Thomas opened for 1,400 from the cutoff seat and it folded to Christoph Vogelsang who called from the big blind.

The flop came 3♣7♠J♦ and Vogelsang checked. Thomas bet 1,300, then after sitting quietly for 29 seconds Vogelsang check-raised to 4,300. Thomas paused a beat then called.

The turn was the 4♠. Vogelsang again waited 28 or 29 seconds, then bet 8,500. Thomas again hesitated before calling, leaving himself just about 12,000 or so behind.

The river was the 5♥, and again Vogelsang used up nearly all of the 30-second clock before setting out enough chips to put Thomas all in. Thomas exhaled and grinned, and began talking out loud about blockers and whether or not he could fold.

Finally, and with something less than enthusiasm, Thomas called, and Vogelsang turned over 6♣4♦ for a straight. Thomas flashed his hand quickly -- it looked like A♠A♣ -- before his cards were swept into the much, and he departed.

Vogelsang moves up over 110,000 with that pot. --MH

6:25pm: Vogelsang speeds up, slows down, takes the pot
Level 6 - Blinds 300/600 (BB ante 600)

Roman Emelyanov opened for 1,400 under the gun and Wei Lin called in the hijack. The action folded around to the big blind then, where Christoph Vogelsang made it 7,800 to go. Emelyanov called and Lin folded.

Both Vogelsang and Emelyanov took their full shot clocks to check both the Q♣8♠8♦ flop and 9♣ turn. Vogelsang looked like he was considering a bet on the J♦ river but he eventually declined, and when Emelyanov checked behind Vogelsang showed A♠Q♠.

Queens and eights was good enough to take the pot, moving Vogelsang up to 66,000. Emelyanov is on about 43,000. --JK

6:15pm: PSPC (and some Bonomo chips) for Melogno
Level 6 - Blinds 300/600 (BB ante 600)

Pablo Melpogno had a day to remember yesterday. He busted deep in the Main Event, then hopped into a satellite for the PokerStars Players Championship. A few hours later, he was four-handed and won his entry to that $25K.

He's back at work in this $25K too. Melogno just opened to 1,300 and was three-bet to 4,500 by Justin Bonomo, which Melogno called. The flop came A♠9♦6♣ and Melogno check-called a 3,500 c-bet, taking them to the 4♣ turn. Check check.

The 3♠ hit the river and now Melogno led for 6,100, enough to get a fold from Bonomo. Melogno is up to 78,000 now, while Bonomo sits with 71,000. --JS

Melogno trending upwards

6:10pm: Kolonias doubles through Badziakouski
Level 5 - Blinds 200/500 (BB ante 500)

Alexandros Kolonias has new life after a hand against Mikita Badziakouski, who's now one of our shortest stacks.

We arrived with Kolonias having re-raised to 3,500 in the cutoff over an opener from Badziakouski in the hijack. Badziakouski put in the fourth bet for 8,000 on Kolonias, after some thought, called to take the Q♦7♠5♥ flop. Badziakouski bet 5,000 there and Kolonias called.

Both players checked the 6♣ turn, bringing the 5♦ on the river. Badziakouski let his shot clock run almost all the way down before declaring himself all-in, and Kolonias snap-called, turning up 6♣5♣ -- fives full of sixes. Badziakouski was beside himself, his queens and fives with A♥Q♠ good for nothing but an obligation to pay his opponent.

Kolonias is now up to 62,000. Badziakouski falls to 14,000. --JK

6:05pm: Beumers still booming
Level 5 - Blinds 200/500 (BB ante 500)

Wouter Beumers started out the day well, picking up pocket aces and earning the first knockout of the tournament (the first of Nicola Grieco's bustouts) to pick up a big stack boost right away.

Beumers continues to thrive. We can't say what he had just now in a hand versus Chen An Lin, but whatever he had, a five-bet shove preflop forced Lin out to earn Beumers some more chips. He looks to be at about 190,000 at present. --MH

5:57pm: Kanit KO'd
Level 5 - Blinds 200/500 (BB ante 500)

Mustapha Kanit just made a speedy exit from the Salle des Etoiles. He's most likely off to grab a re-entry, as he's just busted to Thomas Muehloecker.

Kanit had opened under the gun to 1,200 and Muehloecker called in the hijack. It folded to Julian Thomas in the big blind and he made the call, bringing a 3♥Q♣K♠ flop. Kanit opted not to c-bet, and it checked through.

The 9♥ hit the turn and when it checked to Kanit this time he led for 2,300. Muehloecker called, but Thomas folded and the 3♣ completed the board. Kanit jammed for his last 4,500, and Muehloecker snap-called.

Kanit - A♥Q♦
Muehloecker - K♥J♥

That marked the end of Kanit's first bullet. Now we've just got to wait and see if he'll fire another. Muehloecker, meanwhile, is up to 43,600. --JS

Kanit (right) with Thomas (left)

5:50pm: Queens earn double-up (and then some) for Kolonias
Level 5 - Blinds 200/500 (BB ante 500)

Alexandros Kolonias opened with a raise and Lily Kiletto reraised to 3,300. Mikita Badziakouski then four-bet to 8,500. That prompted an all-in push from Kolonias for 14,700 total, and Kiletto let her hand go before Badziakouski called.

Badziakouski: A♥3♥
Kolonias: Q♠Q♠

Kiletto said she had pocket eights and was about to give Badziakouski a little mock-grief for his reraise until she saw Kolonias's queens. Then came the flop -- 7♠8♠K♦. "That's rude," grinned Kiletto at the sight of the set she didn't flop.

The turn was the 6♣, then the river Q♦ further improved Kolonias to a set of queens, causing Kiletto to express relief that in fact she hadn't been involved in the hand.

Kiletto has about 52,000 now, just a bit more than Badziakouski's 50,000, while Kolonias is up to 33,000 now. --MH

5:45pm: Comfortable Carrel
Level 5 - Blinds 200/500 (BB ante 500)

"Am I allowed to play sitting on the floor?"

The dealer replied that she wasn't sure, which was good enough for Charlie Carrel, a man dressed for comfort if we've ever seen one. "That's not a 'no!'" He sat cross-legged on the ground beside his seat and began digging into the fish dinner he'd had delivered to the table.

It's not a stretch to say Charlie Carrel knows how to stay relaxed at the table

About halfway through the meal Rainer Kempe won the pot in play and the cards were on the way for the next hand, so Carrel returned to his assigned seat and opened for 1,000 in the hijack. Viacheslav Goryachev called on the button, as did Maxi Lehmanski in the small blind. Carrell bet 1,900 when Lehmanski checked to him, drawing a call from Goryachev before Lehmanski check-raised to 5,500. Both Carrel and Goryachev folded, freeing Carrel to return to his dinner.

Lehmanski's on 78,000 now; Goryachev 38,000; and Carrel 45,000 plus a full stomach. --JK

5:35pm: Pardo's up-and-down day continues, De Silva benefits
Level 5 - Blinds 200/500 (BB ante 500)

My colleague, poker's Jack Stanton, just reported on Juan Pardo thriving while playing his second entry. But before Jack could even finish typing that message to you, Pardo dropped a decent chunk of chips to the recently entered Upeshka De Silva.

Not sure how they did it, but the pair got it all in preflop with De Silva holding K♠K♥ and Pardo A♦4♦. The board ran out 2♥J♣T♠6♠6♦, and De Silva doubled up to just over 103,000. Meanwhile Pardo slips back to 65,000. That'll teach Jack to stop being so enthusiastic all the time. --MH

5:28pm: How's that second bullet working out, Juan?
Level 5 - Blinds 200/500 (BB ante 500)

Juan Pardo was the first player eliminated today and also the first to re-enter. His second bullet is working out much better for him, as the Spaniard is now up to 125,000.

Andrei Konopelko had opened on the button before Pardo three-bet the small blind to 4,800. Back to Konopelko, he put in the four-bet to 16,000 and that was called. The two went to a 2♣8♣Q♥ flop, and when Pardo checked Konopelko shoved for around 30,000. Snap-call.

Konopelko - A♣4♣
Pardo - A♠Q♠

Konopelko had flopped the nut flush draw, but was currently trailing Pardo's top pair. The 7♦ 6♦ turn and river changed nothing, and Konopelko hit the rail.

Pardo was right back to work the next hand, opening the button to 1,200. Erik Seidel then three-bet from the small blind to 4,000, and Pardo called to see a 2♥6♦T♠ flop. Seidel continued for 3,500 which was called, and he'd fire 10,000 on the 2♠ turn. Call.

The J♥ river completed things and now both checked. Seidel rolled over K♥Q♥ for king-high, and Pardo took it down with K♠6♠ for a pair of sixes.

He's up to 125,000 now, while Seidel dips to 36,000. --JS

5:20pm: Goryachev gets Derwiche
Level 5 - Blinds 200/500 (BB ante 500)

Imad Derwiche just lost the last of his stack after getting all in on a K♦3♦T♠ flop holding 4♦2♦ and needing to draw out versus Viacheslav Goryachev's A♠A♦.

The turn was the 7♣ and river the 9♥, and failing to hit his flush Derwiche headed away. Goryachev bumps up around 85,000 with that pot. --MH

5:15pm: Aces good for Lin, Uskov out
Level 5 - Blinds 200/500 (BB ante 500)

Chen An Lin is moving up thanks to his knockout of Alexander Uskov.

We didn't catch the early action, but guessing based on the pile of chips in the pot it looked like Uskov had opened in the cutoff and Lin had re-raised on the button. Uskov checked with the board reading 6♠4♠7♣7♦ and Lin moved all-in for 30,000. Uskov thought for just a part of his shot clock and called; before we could catch his hand the dealer put the 2♥ on the board and Lin's A♠A♥ had already scooped up the pot.

Uskov headed to the exit, and Lin moved up to 96,000. --JK

5:05pm: Time to play
Level 5 - Blinds 200/500 (BB ante 500)

Break time is over, players are back, and the tournament has resumed. The big board shows 89 total entries thus far (including 5 re-entries), with 76 players currently in action. --MH

It's time!


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4:50pm: Break time; Daher leads

They've reached the end of the level, and players are now taking another 15-minute break. Albert Daher looks like he's now built the biggest stack in the room with about 130,000, with Wouter Beumers, Kenny Hallaert, Mikalai Vaskaboinikau all hovering around 115,000. Back in a few. --MH

Good start for Daher

4:45pm: Sammartino collects from Kenney
Level 4 - Blinds 200/400 (BB ante 400)

Bryn Kenney and Dario Sammartino are sitting next to each other right now, a bit like the two people in the logo of Kenney's full Kappa tracksuit (although both facing forward). If they keep clashing like they just did, though, there's a chance they may end up turning on each other, too.

Kappa Kenney

Kenney had opened to 900 under the gun and it folded around to Sammartino in the big blind. He defended, bringing a J♠9♠8♦ flop and a check. Kenney continued for 1,400, but Sammartino then raised it up to 5,000. Kenney took his time, but would make the call.

The turn was the 5♣, and Sammartino slowed down. He checked, and Kenney re-took the betting lead for 6,400. Sammartino had a plan though; he check-raised all-in for 29,000 and that got Kenney to lay it down, scrunching up his face as he tried to figure this one out.

Kenney now has 89,500, while Sammartino increases to 47,600. --JS

Tricky play from Sammartino

4:35pm: Beresford barrels top pair
Level 4 - Blinds 200/400 (BB ante 400)

Conor Beresford opened for 1,000 in the hijack and Thomas Muehloecker, in the cutoff, was the lone caller. Beresford bet 1,200 on the T♠6♣5♣ flop, 4,000 more on the 4♥ turn, and another 3♥ on the river, with Muehloecker coming along for the full ride. When Beresford turned up K♣T♦ for top pair, though, Muehloecker tossed his cards to the dealer face-down.

That win brings Beresford back to 50,000. Muehloecker slides to 33,000. --JK

4:30pm: Keep playing those mind games
Level 4 - Blinds 200/400 (BB ante 400)

Felix Bleiker led from the big blind for 3,700 after a 2♠T♠5♣ flop and Benjamin Pollak called from the button, pushing the pot up around 15,000 or a little more. Then came the J♣ turn and a check from Bleiker.

Pollak didn't wait any time at all before betting all in for 31,000 even. That put Bleiker deep in the tank, long enough to spend three or possibly four time bank cards. During that time Bleiker counted out calling chips and appeared on the verge, but ultimately he pushed his hand away.

"I already called you twice in my mind," said Bleiker afterwards, following what seemed a mock "whew!" from Pollak after the fold. The pair engaged in a bit of banter afterwards about their hands, with Bleiker's claim he had 5-4 and Pollak's that he had 6-3 also seeming like the hands they were describing might have only been in their minds and not actual.

In any case, what is definitely, most certainly real is the fact that both players are right at about 46,000 chips now. --MH

4:22pm: Kempe's reads on point
Level 4 - Blinds 200/400 (BB ante 400)

Picking up the action on a 3♣4♥6♦ flop, Charlie Carrel checked from the big blind seat over to Rainer Kempe, who was under the gun pre-flop. Kempe led for 1,500, and Carrel raised it up to 3,400. Call.

The turn was the A♣, and both checked to see the 8♠ turn. Now Carrel led for just 400 - one big blind.

"That's probably the card where you win it," said Kempe, unable to get away from such a small bet. He called, and Carrel showed 8♦5♦ for a flopped open-ender that rivered a pair. Kempe was right; Carrel had won it at the end, as Kempe flashed what seemed to be a six.

Carrel now has 70,500, while Kempe has 45,800. --JS

Kempe knew it

4:20pm: Konopelko gets paid
Level 4 - Blinds 200/400 (BB ante 400)

Jack Sinclair opened for 1,000 in the cutoff and got popped to 2,900 by Jean-Noel Thorel on the button. Then Andrei Konopelko called in the small blind, which convinced Sinclair to get out of the way. Probably a good thing for him, given the action that followed.

Konopelko checked the 6♣2♦4♣ flop and called Thorel's bet of 4,000. Both players checked the 9♦ turn before Konopelko fired an even 10,000 on the J♥ river. Thorel snap-called only to find that Konopelko had checked his turned set with 9♠9♥. Thorel flashed the J♣ -- he'd rivered at least top pair -- as he mucked.

Thorel is now on 48,000; Konopelko, 75,000. --JK

4:15pm: Konnikova among the early KOs
Level 4 - Blinds 200/400 (BB ante 400)

We told how Maria Konnikova had lost a chunk of the starting stack early on in an ace-queen-vs.-ace-king situation (see below 1pm). Alas for Konnikova, she lost the rest of it here in Level 4 and has joined those on the rail early on. --MH

4:10pm: Chidwick's done on bullet no.1
Level 4 - Blinds 200/400 (BB ante 400)

Stephen Chidwick only had 5,500 when we arrived at the table, so clearly we'd just missed him lose a big pot. We were around to see him bust though.

Rainer Kempe opened to 1,000 and Chidwick defended his blind with the short stack. The flop fell 8♣J♦4♠ and Chidwick checked it, letting Kempe continue. He put a 5,000 chip out there but verbally declared a different amount (we didn't quite catch it). It wouldn't matter as Chidwick moved all-in for 4,100 and that was called.

Chidwick - 8♠6♠
Kempe - A♠8♦

Chidwick's middle pair had kicker problems, and he couldn't catch up on the turn or river. Kempe now has 66,000, and we're sure Chidwick will be back for bullet no.2 soon. --JS

Chidwick heads to the cage

4:05pm: Durnegger drops Vrakas
Level 4 - Blinds 200/400 (BB ante 400)

Georgios Vrakas and Markus Durnegger clashed early on Level 3 and Vrakas got the best of the exchange after a five-bet. Things went a little differently the second time around.

We arrived with a big pile of chips in the middle, the full T♥9♠2♣3♥6♥ board out, and Durnegger, in the big blind, having already moved all-in for 32,000. Vrakas used two time bank cards on what was clearly a painful decision for him and then, just as his third shot clock was winding down, placed the rest of his chips in the middle. Durnegger rolled over Q♥J♥ for a heart flush and Vrakas regrettably showed K♠K♣.

His kings cracked, Vrakas headed for the exit (perhaps to re-enter soon). Durnegger dragged the pot and stacked up to 75,000. --JK

4pm: The opposite of bleak for Bleiker
Level 4 - Blinds 200/400 (BB ante 400)

A short while ago Felix Bleiker doubled through Bruno Lopes, making two pair with ace-king and getting maximum value by getting it all in on the river.

Bleiker bumps up to 65,000, while Lopes slips to 21,000. --MH

3:55pm: Big slick vs. big slick
Level 3 - Blinds 100/300 (BB ante 300)

Lijo Lander (from Spain, very good, and in the big blind) and Igor Yaroshevskyy (from Ukraine, very good, and in the cutoff) had reached the turn with the board showing 7♣K♥9♠6♣. Lander bet 15,000 and Yaroshevskyy called, bringing the pot up over 50,000.

The 7♦ river then paired the board, and Lander didn't hesitate before pushing his remaining 27,000 or so all in. Yaroshevskyy -- who had a little less behind, he discovered after counting out his chips -- went deep into the tank, long enough to have to flick forward one-by-one no less than three time bank cards.

Finally Yaroshevskyy folded his hand face up -- A♣K♦. Before collecting the pot Lander showed his hand as well -- A♦K♠! (Yaroshevskyy wasn't too pleased.)

Lander jumps to 79,000, while Yaroshevskyy slips to a little under 25,000. --MH

3:50pm: Beresford can't shake Vogelsang
Level 3 - Blinds 100/300 (BB ante 300)

Christoph Vogelsang is hard to shake. Give Conor Beresford credit for taking a shot, though.

We arrived to a pot of about 2,000 chips and the board already reading K♦5♦Q♦, Vogelsang having raised in the hijack and Beresford having called in the big blind. Both players checked and the A♥ came on the turn. Beresford thought for a bit and then placed a 3,500-chip overbet on the table. Vogelsang registered the slightest expression of surprise, thought over his move for about 25 seconds, and then called.

The river was the 2♠ and Beresford, after running his shot clock most of the way down, bet another 7,000. Vogelsang used one time bank card before eventually saying "okay" and making the call. Beresford flipped over Q♣J♥ for queens but couldn't beat Vogelsang's aces and kings with A♠K♠.

"I think I under-repped my hand a bit," Vogelsang said as he pulled in the pot. Maybe just a touch. --JK

The unassuming, understated Christoph Vogelsang

3:45pm: Double up for Badziakouski
Level 3 - Blinds 100/300 (BB ante 300)

Alexandros Kolonias' stack has just taken a huge hit after doubling up Mikita Badziakouski.

The hand was pretty much over when we arrived, with Kolonias figuring out whether he should call Badziakouski's 16,400 river shove on an A♣8♦Q♥9♠5♦ board.

Ultimately he tossed in a chip, and Badziakouski announced ace-queen before turning over A♠Q♦. Kolonias mucked and drops to 14,000, while that pot brings Badziakouski back up to 55,500. --JS

3:40pm: Greico's gone again!
Level 3 - Blinds 100/300 (BB ante 300)

Less than 20 minutes ago we told you that Nicola Grieco had re-entered. The second bullet has gone either faster than his first!

There was a 9♦K♥6♥ flop out there and Eric Sfez led for 10,500. Grieco must have only had slightly less than that and he called all-in holding K♦J♠. That was currently ahead of Sfez's A♥Q♥, but the 4♥ turn completed his nut flush draw and left Grieco drawing dead.

The Italian wasn't happy, understandably. Today has cost him €50K, and as it's only a single re-entry tournament, he no longer has a shot to recoup those losses. Meanwhile, Sfez is up to 70,000. --JS

Two bullets done for Greico

3:30pm: A river bomb from Dom
Level 3 - Blinds 100/300 (BB ante 300)

I walked upon Matthias Eibinger in the middle of a deep-think, one that would require him to part with at least one time bank card before it was done. His neighbor to the left, Dominik Nitsche, was the one who caused it. Nitsche does that sort of thing quite often to people who sit next to him at poker tables, and in other the other seats, too, for that matter.

There was around 12,000 in the pot and the board showed two pair -- T♥T♠3♣J♥J♦. Eibinger had checked from the cutoff, then Nitsche had made a big bet of 17,000. Was he going for big value, or making a big bluff?

Eibinger finally dug out calling chips and with a half-wince forming on his face set them forward to call. Nitsche quickly tabled his Q♠J♠ for jacks full, and Eibinger nodded with a grin in acknowledgement of Nitsche's successful play.

Nitsche is up to 82,000 now, while Eibinger slips to 25,000. --MH

3:22pm: Greico's back for more
Level 3 - Blinds 100/300 (BB ante 300)

We've just had word that Nicola Grieco has re-entered. That makes him our second player on a second bullet. --JS

3:20pm: Emelyanov feeling his oats
Level 3 - Blinds 100/300 (BB ante 300)

Christoph Vogelsang took a swig from his water bottle (it's filled with oats, rather than liquid), before opening the cutoff to 800. Roman Emelyanov would then immediately give him food for thought with a button three-bet to 2,700, but Vogelsang opted to call.

The flop fell 2♠Q♠4♠ and when Vogelsang checked Emelyanov continued for 2,700 again. That would get a call, bringing the A♣ on the turn. Vogelsang checked once more, and Emelyanov fired for 4,300. That would get the job done, as Vogelsang went back to drinking oats.

Emelyanov is up to 57,000, while Vogelsang has 36,500. --JS

3:15pm: Badziakouski can't call Kiletto's push
Level 3 - Blinds 100/300 (BB ante 300)

With about 20,000 in the middle and a completed board of 2♠4♦K♥9♥J♠, Lily Kiletto checked and Mikita Badziakouski bet 12,000. Kiletto responded with an all-in check-raise that exceeded the 22,000 Badziakouski had behind. Badziakouski immediately exhaled noisily, communicating wordlessly he didn't like the decision Kiletto had forced him to make.

He looked at Kiletto for a while trying to get a read, spending a time bank card as he did. "Only at the poker table you can stare at a beautiful lady and nobody judges you," said Badziakouski with a weary grin. Kiletto kept mum, and eventually Badziakouski let his hand go.

"Did you have two pair?" asked Kiletto as she collected the pot. "I had a value bet," was Badziakouski's non-answer.

Badziakouski keeps his 22,000, while Kiletto is up around 78,000 now. --MH

Kiletto collecting

3:03pm: Beumers booming
Level 3 - Blinds 100/300 (BB ante 300)

Wouter Beumers' stack has gone from strength to strength ever since he eliminated Nicola Grieco earlier.

We just caught him taking down a big pot against Charlie Carrel. The two had built a 33,000 pot by the river of the 8♠2♥Q♦2♦J♥ board, and Beumers led for 20,500. That caused Carrel to use two of his time bank cards before folding.

He'd lose a small pot a couple of hands later though. Beumers opened under the gun to 700 and got calls from Rainer Kempe (hijack) and John Juanda (big blind). They went to an A♣K♠5♠ flop, and it checked to Kempe who led for 1,200. Both Juanda and Beumers called.

The turn was the 7♣ and it checked to Kempe once again. This time he'd take it down when his 4,300 bet got two folds.

Beumers sits with 94,000 now, while Kempe has 37,000 and Juanda has 40,000. --JS

Beumers (right) earlier with Grieco

2:55pm: Vrakas five-bets, collects
Level 3 - Blinds 100/300 (BB ante 300)

With the button still not back from the break, it folded to Markus Durnegger in the cutoff who raised to 800, then Georgios Vrakas three-bet to 2,400 from the small blind. Action back on Durnegger, he reraised again to 6,200, and Vrakas only took a short while before putting in a five-bet of 15,000 -- about half the stack with which he'd begun the hand.

Durnegger thought about it, but let his hand go, keeping the 34,000 he has left. Vrakas now has around 40,000. --MH

2:52pm: Back to it
Level 3 - Blinds 100/300 (BB ante 300)

Level 3 begins! Mark Teltscher is the only new player who has entered over the break. --JS


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2:35pm: Break time
Level 2 - Blinds 100/200 (BB ante 200)

Well, those first two levels flew by quickly.

Charlie Carrel is the only player who has managed to double his stack, and with 107,000 he's our early chip leader.

Meanwhile, Dominik Nitsche and Jack Sinclair are the latest entrants, and Juan Pardo is the only re-entry so far.

Back in 15 minutes. --JS

Carrel takes early lead

2:19pm: Grieco first to fall
Level 2 - Blinds 100/200 (BB ante 200)

Italy's Nicola Grieco came to play today. In fact, he played so much that he's our first elimination.

He made it 700 from the hijack and was three-bet to 2,500 by Wouter Beumers in the cutoff. Grieco had a similar situation to Paul Newey, in that he went deep into the tank and used up three of his time bank cards.

"You got aces? You trapping?" asked Charlie Carrel. Grieco continued thinking. "You still there?" chimed in Nick Petrangelo. No answer.

Eventually Grieco stared right at the dealer and said "OK, OK, I fold." Turns out he didn't have a Newey-like decision at all; he had the T♦2♣, while Beumers showed A♣J♣.

The very next hand started the same: A 700 open from Grieco UTG+1, and a hijack three-bet to 2,500 from Beumers. When it folded back to Grieco, he reached over in front of the dealer and grabbed the all-in triangle before placing it in front of his stack.

"Call!" said Beumers instantly. "I have aces."

Thing is, Grieco actually had a real hand this time with his J♥J♣, but he now had his last 20,000 all-in and at risk versus A♠A♦. The board ran out A♣Q♠2♠5♦2♥, giving Beumers a full house and the KO.

Grieco was still in good spirits as he said his goodbyes and made his exit. "I did not think it would be aces versus jacks," said Petrangelo, speaking on behaLf of everyone.

Beumers is up to 75,000 after that one, while Grieco has the option to re-enter. --JS

Grieco's gone, for now

2:02pm: They keep on coming
Level 2 - Blinds 100/200 (BB ante 200)

We're up to 58 runners and counting. Rainer Kempe, Ryan Riess, Erik Seidel, Chen An Lin, Albert Daher, and Juan Pardo are all now in. --JS

1:55pm: Newey's out of time
Level 2 - Blinds 100/200 (BB ante 200)

Paul Newey's decisions will have to be made in 30 seconds or less from here on out today, as he's just handed over all of his time bank cards after a tricky spot against Conor Beresford.

With a 29,500 pot already built and a Q♣T♠A♦4♣4♥ board out there, Newey had checked and Beresford led for 16,000. Newey remained in the tank until all those time bank cards were gone, and eventually gave it up.

He's down to 29,000 now, while Beresford is up to 63,000. --JS

Time's a factor for Newey

1:42pm: Légende du rap français
Level 1 - Blinds 100/200 (BB ante 200)

Kool Shen is in the building. The French rap legend, real name Bruno Lopes, is no stranger to the high roller world with more than $1million in live earnings to date.

He got involved early in a hand against Isaac Haxton. Haxton opened the cutoff to 500 and both Lopes (sb) and Julian Stuer (bb) came along to see the Q♦9♥8♠ flop. It checked over to Haxton and he continued for 1,100, which only Lopes called.

The turn came the K♥ and Lopes checked it once again. Haxton loaded up a bet of 3,100 and placed it over the line, getting a pretty quick fold. --JS

Bruno 'Kool Shen' Lopes

1:30pm: More arrivals
Level 1 - Blinds 100/200 (BB ante 200)

Alexandros Kolonias, Conor Beresford, Joao Vieira, and Sylvain Loosli are the latest to the take their seats. --JS

1:25pm: Kiletto in Monte Carlo
Level 1 - Blinds 100/200 (BB ante 200)

Maria Konnikova isn't the only female in today's field. We've also got Lily Kiletto in the mix. The Florida-native has $730K in career cashes, the best of which came from a runner-up finish in a WPT event for $192K.

Action folded to Kiletto on the button and she announced a raise to "five". Problem was she tossed in a 5,000 chip rather than a 500 chip. Everyone knew what she meant of course, but rules are rules and the chunky bet stood. Not that it mattered; everyone folded, and Kiletto showed 2♥2♦. --JS

1:20pm: Stuer's back to defend his title
Level 1 - Blinds 100/200 (BB ante 200)

Last year's champ in this event, Julian Stuer, has now arrived to begin his title defence. He's got a tough table though, with the likes of Luke Reeves, Markus Dürnegger, Isaac Haxton, Christopher Frank, and Maria Konnikova to deal with. --JS

1:10pm: Vogelsang doing what Vogelsang does
Level 1 - Blinds 100/200 (BB ante 200)

No surprises here. Christoph Vogelsang is off to a good start.

After Maxi Lehmanski opened under the gun to 600, Vogelsang took his entire 30 seconds before announcing a cutoff three-bet to 1,800. Roman Emelyanov was on the button and the Russian snap-called, before it folded back to Lehmanski. He'd let it go.

The flop fell K♥7♥T♥ and Vogelsang continued for 1,200, and again Emelyanov called instantly. That brought the J♦ on the turn, and play slowed down with both checking.

The 2♠ completed the board and Vogelsang carefully and deliberately fired again for 4,500. There would be no snap-call from Emelyanov this time, who took about 20 seconds before folding with a sigh. --JS

Christoph Vogelsang (centre)

1pm: Rough start for Konnikova
Level 1 - Blinds 100/200 (BB ante 200)

Maria Konnikova is down to 27,000 after a tough early loss to David Yan.

We arrived as the turn was being dealt, but it looked to be a three-bet pot pre and Konnikova had check-called a flop bet on the 7♦A♠5♠. The turn was the A♦ and now Konnikova check-called 6,000, before the J♦ landed. Konnikova checked a final time and Yan fired 11,500. Call.

Yan quickly flipped over his A♣K♠, and his kicker played as Konnikova showed A♥Q♠. That brings Yan up to 73,000. --JS

12:54pm: More names for the list
Level 1 - Blinds 100/200 (BB ante 200)

Bryn Kenney, Jean-Noel Thorel, Luke Reeves, Thomas Muehloecker, Kenny Halleart, Mikita Badziakouski, and Super High Roller champ Sam Greenwood are all now sat down. --JS

12:45pm: Early action
Level 1 - Blinds 100/200 (BB ante 200)

A few early pots for you to digest.

Justin Bonomo min-opened to 400 from the UTG+1 seat, which got calls from Jonathan Bensadoun in the small blind and Daniel Dvoress in the big. They went to a Q♥K♥5♥ flop, which checked through to the 8♣ turn. It checked to Dvoress who led for 500, and only Bonomo called.

The river was the J♠ and now Dvoress opted to check. Bonomo fired for 1,300 and after using most of his shot clock Dvoress made the call. He'd muck though, when Bonomo showed Q♦T♣ for second pair.

Bonomo begins

Meanwhile, Orpen Kisacikoglu was putting Vladimir Troyanovskiy to the test on another table. The two had reached the river of a J♦8♦2♠Q♣6♥ board, and there was 10,000 in the pot. Troyanovskiy checked and Kisacikoglu made it 7,500, and after using a time bank Troyanovskiy made the call. Kisacikoglu showed 7♦9♦ for a busted straight flush draw, and Troyanovskiy took it down with A♦A♣. --JS

12:35pm: Cards in the air
Level 1 - Blinds 100/200 (BB ante 200)

And they're off! Isaac Haxton, Justin Bonomo, Daniel Dvoress, David Yan, Paul Newey, Charlie Carrel, Orpen Kisacikoglu, Stephen Chidwick, Nick Petrangelo and Johan Guilbert are all now in their seats. --JS

12:32pm: Konnikova in the hunt

You'll no doubt be familiar with Maria Konnikova by now. Best-selling author, Ph.D. in psychology, and friend of PokerStars, Konnikova has been grinding the live circuit for the past year in research for her new book The Biggest Bluff. Having no poker experience whatsoever when she started the project (with help from friend and coach Erik Seidel), Konnikova's journey has seen her pick up the game like a duck to water; a journey which saw her take down the National event at the 2018 PCA for $84K plus a Platinum Pass.

Konnikova is one of the first players to sit down today in what is her first ever €25K, along with the likes of Timothy Adams, Christopher Frank, and Matthias Eibinger. Action should be underway momentarily. --JS

Isaac Haxton and Maria Konnikova

12:28pm: Nineteen and counting

We're just about ready to get going here on Day 1 of the €25K High Roller. There are 19 players currently registered, but who are going to be the first in their seats hoping for some Sam Greenwood-style fortune? Stay tuned. --JS

11am: The High Rollers return

David Peters. Adrian Mateos. Patrik Antonius. Ole Schemion. Davidi Kitai. Philipp Gruissem. Andre Akkari.

Those are just some of the high roller regulars who won't be playing in today's €25K High Roller, or at least not right away. That lot are still alive with 45 remaining in the Main Event (Peters holds the overall chip lead), but fear not; pretty much all the other regulars you can think of will be settling in for today's Day 1.

Germany's Julian Stuer took this event down last year, defeating John Juanda heads-up to bank €1.015 million. That tournament got 187 total entries, and anyone playing today will have the option of a single re-entry. Registration is open until the start of play tomorrow (Day 2 kicks off at 12:30pm Thursday), and if the Super High Roller and Single Day High Roller were anything to go by, there will be plenty of big names battling.

Last year's winner, Julian Stuer

Our live updates begin at 12:30pm local time when the action kicks off. Here's all the info you need. --JS

• Day 1 (Wednesday 2nd) - Starts @ 12:30 - Play levels 1 - 10
• Day 2 (Thursday 3rd) - Starts @ 12:30 - Registration closes at the start of Day 2
• Day 3 (Friday 4th) - Starts @ 12:30 - Play down to a winner
• 60-minute levels, 50,000 starting stack
• Single Re-Entry
• Played with a 30 second shot clock and 6 time bank cards with a value of 30 seconds per card
• Tournament will be played with a Big Blind Ante

A new day, a new high roller

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PokerStars Blog reporting team on the €25,000 High Roller: Halloween III's Martin Harris, Nashville comedy's Jason Kirk, and TV Tray's Jack Stanton. Photography by Rene Velli.

Live reporting team
@PokerStars in Live Poker